How to sign up for a bloglines RSS account

If you are not already a bloglines user, please sign up for a (free, no-spam) bloglines account; directions are below. This is an online news-aggregator (e.g., a single, password-protected website to which you can direct all manner of electronic subscriptions). We will use our individual bloglines accounts to receive the RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed of this blog--this way, you will always know when class members have posted new material (assignments, questions, collaborative work) to the course blog--material for which you will be held responsible.

Here's how to do it:

Fire up your web-browser (best free Windows browser: Mozilla Firefox; works astronomically better than Internet Explorer; Mac users: there is a Mac version) and go to http://www.blogger.com

If you do not already have a bloglines account, you will be provided the opportunity to register, for which you will need a valid email account, and for which you will need to select a username and password. Feel free to select a username which preserves your anonymity to the big world--though you will be asked to share that username with classmates.

Once you have registered, login to your new bloglines account.

Under Subscribe to it, click on the link "enter the URL."

In the window that opens, enter our course blog's URL: http://muhl5321.blogspot.com/

Under "available feeds", fill in the checkbox whose URL ends "...rss.xml" At the bottom of the screen, click on Subscribe.

You're done. You can repeat this process for as many websites publishing RSS feeds as you wish. (To give you an idea, I am subscribed to perhaps 200 RSS feeds, on topics from music to politics to comix to film to Irish headlines.) There are thousands and thousands of websites publishing RSS feeds (including all major news organizations, broadcasting networks, and periodicals).

Now, any time you would like to check whether there is any recent activity on any blog to which you are subscribed, you can go to your bloglines home-page (http://bloglines.com/myblogs/), login, and you will see all new activity, since your last visit, on every feed to which you are subscribed.

RSS really fulfills the promise of the web, because it means new material is sent to you, rather than requiring that you go out searching for it. It's like a personally-customized and -automated news clipping service.

This means of "keeping up" with various topics has several advantages over manually checking back to every website.
  1. You need not visit the individual sites--instead, the new postings from each are "posted" to your bloglines page.
  2. You can skim the material by headline and 2-line abstract, deciding very swiftly whether you wish to click through to a given story or simply wish to skip over it.
  3. You can send these stories to others: simply click on "Email this." Very useful way to keep friends and colleagues up-to-date with what you're reading (or writing, for that matter).
  4. You can clip these stories, and save them into your own personal bloglines archive. I have hundreds of articles thus "clipped" and saved, knowing that I can return to re-read, cite, or forward them whenever I need to.
Once you have replied to the "invitation" to join the course blog which you received from me via email, please follow the above instructions to sign up for a bloglines account, and please post a confirmation that you have done so, here at the course blog.